Astrophysics (index)about


(metal, Li, atomic number 3)

Lithium (Li) is an element with atomic number 3, symbol Li. The most abundant isotope, mass number 7, is stable, and one more isotope, mass number 6 is also stable.

Lithium is thought to have been formed in the Big Bang and in cosmic ray spallation in stars, i.e., fusion produced by cosmic rays (beta particles).

The Sun shows a lower abundance of lithium than expected from Big Bang nucleosynthesis, which was long a mystery, i.e., the solar lithium problem. It burns at a temperature less than hydrogen burning, and it is believed that young stars continue mixing their constituents sufficiently long that the lithium is burned in the star's interior early in the star's life.


Referenced by:
Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN)
brown dwarf (BD)
metallicity (Z)
refractory material
surface abundance